The most authoritative sources place the first birth of Parmigiano Reggiano in the middle of the Enza Valley, near the provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia, at the heart of the production area formed by the provinces of Bologna, Mantua, Modena, Parma and Reggio Emilia. This territory, also known as a “typical zone”, is delimited by law.
The Parmigiano Reggiano denomination – just as the individual terms that compose it – are protected by a specific law that only reserves the cheese produced in this area, in compliance with a rigorous standard that has codified the local uses that have always been observed during production.
casaroThe Parmigiano Reggiano has been produced for more than seven centuries. Today, how then is the precious and selected milk coming exclusively from the farms of the production area. Today, like seven centuries ago, the mastery of casari, the result of centuries-old experiences passed down from father to son, is irreplaceable and decisive for the success of this incomparable cheese, as well as the long natural maturation it completes with the slow flow of seasons, the work of man by giving aroma, fragrance and taste to a unique food for genuineness, nutritional value and high quality.
Parmigiano Reggiano contains neither preservatives, nor colorants, nor anti-fermentative.
These inimitable features are guaranteed by the Consorzio, the Official Product Protection Authority and are certified by the unmistakable marking dotted on the crust of the shapes.
Parmigiano Reggiano, high quality cheese, has become the symbol of the most authentic “Italian gourmet handicrafts”.
By digging into the past, it is discovered that Parmigiano Reggiano has very ancient origins: some bibliographic sources of Roman times (Columella, Varrone, Marziale) confirm in fact the existence, at the beginning of the Christian era, of a parmesan cheese with features very close to those of the current Parmigiano Reggiano.
The best known and most accurate testimony is that of the Boccaccio, which in its Decameron (written around 1350) mentions Parmigiano describing its current use (macaroni and ravioli). It is therefore doubtful that in 1200-1300 Parmigiano Reggiano had reached that perfect typography and that notoriety that has been preserved substantially unchanged to this day.
The dairy farm Fior di Latte is a cheese cooperative formed in 1965 by a part of the milk producers of Gaggio Montano. It is important to emphasize how the roots of the Sociale Fior di Latte cheese sink deep into the past, in fact, the Cooperative has a history of over thirty years and the values and traditions to which it is inspired are even older. Over time, the project of these producers is becoming more and more important, bringing together the vast majority of milk producers not only in the municipality but also in the neighboring countries. The dairy farm Fior di Latte is one of the most important factories in the agricultural sector of the Upper Rhine Valley; from an economic point of view, to the business volume developed and socially concerned by the number of people who, or as members or employees, benefit from the dairy business.
The transformation of milk into Parmigiano-Reggiano began in 1968, and at that time there was a retail sale of Parmigiano-Reggiano and butter at the time of processing. It should be emphasized that it has always been the intention of the Cooperative’s directors to bring most of the production directly to the consumer tables, thus removing the intermediaries there are two advantages: the consumer at a cheaper price and, for the producer to have more profitable prices. For this reason, retail trade has always been steady in the years, the latter has definitely got a breakthrough when it has a large and elegant retail space. At this point, we have diversified production, adding different types of cheeses to satisfy every need of the consumer.
At present, they have milk as members of 33 farms (to which milk is paid according to quality parameters), sites in the municipality of Gaggio Montano and neighboring areas also at 1000 m altitude, which in 2004 made 3.500 T of fully processed milk: of which 3.300 T. transformed into Parmigiano Reggiano with matr. 3624 (assigned by the Consortium) equivalent to 6,000 forms produced; the remaining 200 T. are transformed into a wide range of soft cheeses, ricotta and yogurt.
Cheese & Egrave; milk grown adult. No longer liquid but solid or semi-solid. ” And it’s; precisely by a special attention to milk, treated with simple techniques in which each pi & ugrave; little detail gains fundamental importance, which is the Parmigiano Reggiano.
Once brought into the dairy, the first stage of processing is to pour as much as I moon the evening in special deep and deep tanks just a few inches. Allow it to rest all night, so that the fatty part, namely the cream, spontaneously stands.
The next day, milk is skimmed and mixed with that harvested in the morning. The resulting mixture is then poured into a special inverted bell-shaped copper boiler with a capacity of about 12 quintals, enough to get 2 shapes. At this point, warming begins and the lactic ferments are added, leaving it to acidify naturally the working serum of the day before. Once the temperature of 33 ° C has been added, rennet added, strictly calf. In about 15 minutes, the “magic” of the coagulation occurs, which gives rise to the caseous mass and releases the precious whey, which will be reused in later work. The housekeeper, at this point, bakes the curd; then, when it deems it appropriate, turn off the fire and shred with a special steel sheet stick. The latter takes the name of “spin” since, in the past, it was used for this operation a bran of hawthorn point. Through the spinatura granules are obtained which gradually become more and more; small, until they have the size of a pea, which settle on the bottom of the boiler forming a granular mass. There follows a second 54 ° C cooking, which is intended to eliminate other serum and, finally, after being divided into two, the consolidated mass is pulled out of the boiler.
Still wrapped in the jute cloth used for the extraction, it is placed in the wooden mold, formed by the “fusera” that wraps the shape and surmounted by the “chisel”, which compresses it. The next day you go to the iron strainer where the cheese stays another two or three days to dry. The next step is salty for saturated brine immersion.
At this point the cheese is technically formed: it is only necessary to let it mature. It is usually stored for 6-7 months in dairies, and then terminates (ideal for 2 years) aging in large aging stores. At this stage the shapes are regularly kept under control until they reach the quality suitable for warranty marking.